Greeley, Colorado residents won’t be surprised to learn their city was named one of the 10 Most Affordable Cities by Livability in the United States. But for Greeley to receive that award – and be considered the best affordable place to live in Colorado – it had to beat a host of tough competitors, including the five communities below.
Viability made this list by identifying the cheapest places to live in the state (determined by the cost of housing, transportation, food, utilities, and other key components of a household budget) and then taking into account key subjective considerations and looking for types of neighborhoods, schools, and employment – and recreational opportunities that promote a successful future – for adults and children alike.
Without further ado, here are five Colorado cities that are just right for you:
1. Fort Collins
Fort Collins in northern Colorado was named one of Livability’s 100 Best Places to Live in, in part because of the strength of its business world, which includes a mix of major employers such as Anheuser Busch BUD (+ 1.17%),
Hewlett Packard HPQ, + 0.75%,
Kaiser Permanente, Wells Fargo WFC, -0.95% and Xcel Energy XEL, + 1.43%,
as well as innovative, entrepreneurial ventures supported by the Larimer Small Business Development Support Center and the Rocky Mountain Innosphere. The latter is a technology incubator supporting clean energy, software, and digital health startups.
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Fort Collins is also home to quaint Colorado State University, which offers a variety of bachelor and master degrees, with the life sciences programs being the most popular. And with a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities including everything from biking, hiking, and white water rafting, the vast majority of Fort Collins residents maintain healthy lifestyles.
Thirty minutes south of Fort Collins is Loveland, Colorado, long known as the “Sweetheart City” thanks to its Valentine Remailing program. Like Fort Collins, it enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year and is an outdoor enthusiast playground best known for its fly fishing, golf courses, and miles of bike paths along the Big Thompson River. It’s also conveniently located in the triangle between three major universities – the aforementioned Colorado State University, as well as the University of Colorado and the University of Northern Colorado.
The average monthly home ownership cost in Loveland is lower than the nationwide. 91.5% of the houses have been built since 1990.
Further south is Longmont, Colorado, and are within easy driving distance of Boulder and Denver. Life revolves around the eclectic mix of shopping, dining, art, and cultural attractions in downtown Longmont, as well as two of the area’s most famous microbreweries, 300 Suns Brewing and Pumphouse Brewery. There are tons of opportunities for outdoor recreation here too, including the Mile-Hi Skydiving Center, Colorado’s largest skydiving facility.
Longmont is located in Boulder County, ranked third and fourth out of 64 Colorado counties for healthy behavior and health outcomes, even though residents spend 9.7% less than the national average on health care goods and services.
The hotel is located just minutes northwest of Denver, a suburb of Westminster, Colorado (population 108,000). It’s a family-oriented community with lots of great shopping and dining, highlighted by Westminster Promenade, Walnut Creek shops, and Orchard Town Center. The city is revered for its open spaces and lakes, which are great for hiking, biking, boating, and fishing.
Westminster also has a median household income of $ 64,844, the highest among the cities on this list.
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Last but not least, Thornton, Colorado is another Denver suburb that, like Westminster, has a high median household income yet has a modest median home price of $ 208,300. The demand for new apartments and commercial office space is increasing. The city issued 36% more single-family permits in 2015 than in 2014, as well as 19 new commercial building permits with a total value of US $ 46.5 million.
Helping Thornton residents develop healthy habits is also a priority. Margaret W. Carpenter Recreation Center is home to one of two Weigh and Win kiosks within the city limits.
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